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Join our campaign to make Sheffield and Rotherham peat free!

Peat is created by decayed organic matter and vegetation, developed slowly under particular, wet conditions over thousands of years. Peat can be found in wetlands such as bogs and moors, and its composition makes it home to a very unique ecosystem.

And when it comes to climate change, peatlands are vital. The excess carbon in our atmosphere is causing the planet to heat up. Peat bogs act like a sponge, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it like a sink.

Peat is extracted from these places for various purposes – most notably for use in garden products – which results in the destruction of this hugely important habitats. Despite the availability of peat-free products not all stores stock them,  and many retailers continue to sell peat products, despite a promise from Government that they would be phased out.

We want to make Sheffield and Rotherham peat free – but we need your help! So please sign up to our Go Peat Free campaign and find out more below about what you can do to help us end the sale of peat products in our area.

Here are some things you can do to go peat free and help us stop the sale of peat products in Sheffield and Rotherham:

1. Check compost, soil plugs and potted plants before you buy – specifically labeled peat free compost is available, you may need to shop around to find it. However peat’s not just in the bagged soil that we buy. It’s also used for many of our potted plants and shrubs, or the soil ‘plugs’ or ‘pellets’ that often come in gift boxes or similar, that you add water to to hydrate. Check labels for peat-based materials, and make sure that peat is not a component of potted house plants or indoor potting mix too.

2. Be vocal and take action – the more we ask for peat free options, the more likely stores will be to stock it. Similarly, the more of us that ask retailers to stop selling peat products, the more likely they will be to take action. Help demonstrate consumer demand for peat free options today – ask your local retailer what peat free products are available. If they’re stocking peat products, ask to speak to a manager and tell them you would like them to stop selling products that include peat.

3. Use alternatives – there are a number of peat free alternatives; all providing different conditions for growing. The best thing to use will depend on what you want to grow and the existing soil you have in your garden. You may want to research and experiment with:
– Bark chippings
– Coir (natural fibre extracted from coconut husk)
– Wood fibre
– Composting

4. Look for retailers that are committed to phasing out peat sales

It can be difficult to tell whether the compost on sale in garden centres and supermarkets contains peat or not – details on peat content can be hidden away, and several ranges contain both peat free and non-peat free versions, so it can be confusing! For example, traditional recipe John Innes contains peat, whilst there are peat-free composts such as ‘SylvaGrow with John Innes’ that contain a peat-free John Innes formulation. Some brands or producers are completely peat-free, such as ALL products made by Melcourt and Dalefoot.

The Wildlife Trusts recently undertook a survey of major retailers: the table below includes some of the findings from this as well as information from retailers that have been in contact with us or made announcements since. Please note this is not an exhaustive list of retailers.

The list below shows the peat-free composts that the larger retailers stock, to help you when shopping for your garden or allotment this year. Shoppers should also look out for peat-free plants – B&Q, Asda, Dobbies, Blue Diamond group garden centres and Hillier all stock ranges of plants grown without using peat.

Email us at takeaction@wildsheffield.com for more information about what you can do to help.

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